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S                                   SHIPPING PRACTICE

rapidly, but shipping companies will not feel competition
from this quarter for some time. Not only are rates high,
but the carrying capacity of aircraft is low. Consideration
of the point of how many air liners would be required to
transport a cargo of, say, 5,000 tons give ample proof of
this. However, the fact must not be lost sight of that for
fast transport of small and important cargoes aircraft
carriage has a definite place.

The shipowner as a public carrier obtains his living from
the business secured by the merchants in foreign markets,
and he is the first to suffer in times of depression due to
diminution of trade. Whilst he runs his service firstly for
his own benefit and profit, much of his time is spent
in seeking ways of improvement for the benefit of his

The carrier or shipowner realizes that co-ordination with
the merchant is essential, not only for his own business but
for that of the merchant, and we find the owners of the
individual trades co-operating with one another to secure
the satisfaction of all their clients.

The shipping conferences of the different trades are an
illustration of this co-operative movement. The River
Plate, South African, and Australian conferences, to men-
tion a few, are committees of representatives of all owners
interested m these particular areas. They meet to consider
their joint interests, establish freight rates, and deal in all
matters of importance.

Whilst they ran regular services of benefit to merchants,
they in return expect the merchant to co-operate with them
to make possible and ensure these steady sailings, and they
accordingly demand a guarantee from all shippers of their
continued support. As already stated in the previous chap-
ter, primage Js charged by many conferences, which is a
deposit i^urnabie after a stated period provided that dur-
ing sodi time the carrier has not shipped by lines other
than conference Unas, any failure to give continued sap-
peart rendering the shipper liable to lose his rebate at the
end of that period. Or the contract system may be used.